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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Karlee Doak

Karlee Doak

Lexington, Missouri

Karlee Doak, 13, of Lexington, Missouri, a member of Lafayette County 4-H and a seventh-grader at Lexington Middle School, made hundreds of face masks and gave them out to nursing homes, a local hospital, a pharmacy, friends and others who needed protection from COVID-19. When the pandemic closed down her school, Karlee asked herself, “What would I do with all of this time stuck at home?” She learned that some people were sewing homemade masks, and, since she was an experienced seamstress, decided to try making one in her bedroom, just for the fun of it. “I skipped downstairs and showed my mom,” said Karlee. “She was so impressed that she posted a picture of it on Facebook.” Then, “it was like the floodgates opened,” she said.

People began contacting Karlee for masks, and she decided that, in addition to honoring their requests, she would donate masks to nursing home staff, hospital workers and pharmacy employees. For the next five months, she made about 20 masks a day. She also posted a video on Facebook showing people how to make their own masks. “I’ve had a very cool experience making masks,” she said. “It made me happy to help people. I hope that’s not the last time I make people smile like that.”